A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE
27 February 2001
STUDY TOUR REPORTS; COMMITTEE PROGRAMME & BUDGET
Minutes Compiled by: Mr Kevin Williams (Committee Secretary)
Chairperson: Rev P Moatshe
Gauteng, North West and Western Cape study tour reports (See Appendix)
The Chairperson opened the meeting at 15:20 and reprimanded members for being late. He then outlined the agenda for the meeting and the committee proceeded with its business.
Reports of Provincial Study Tours
The committee considered the reports of the Gauteng, North West and Western Cape tours. The Chairperson explained that the committee section was still editing a report on the other six provinces.
The view was expressed that only those members who had undertaken the tours could verify the accuracy of the reports.
The report of the North West tour was accepted without amendment but it was pointed out that Franschhoek was spelt inconsistently in the Western Cape report. Other than that, this report was found to be satisfactory.
Ms Thompson pointed out that the names "Ablative" and "Albertville" in the Gauteng report should be changed to "Alberton". The committee also accepted this report.
Several members complained about the short notice of the rescheduling of the workshop with the Minister and officials of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on Robben Island and at Gugulethu on 2 and 3 March 2001 respectively. They explained that they had commitments in their constituencies over the weekend and would thus not be able to attend the workshop. Ms Dlulane and Ms Thompson said that they would be able to attend the Friday morning session if they could return to Cape Town before the scheduled close at 18:00. Eight members indicated that they would attend the Friday session.
The remainder of the programme was accepted without reservation and the Chairperson requested the secretary to look into the possibility of Ministers participating in the departmental briefings on the their programmes for 2001.
Study Tour to KwaZulu-Natal
The committee resolved to undertake a study tour to KwaZulu-Natal during the first term in order to investigate the outbreaks of cholera and foot-and-mouth disease in the province. It was decided to task those members who represented KwaZulu-Natal (Ms B Thompson and Mrs J N Vilakazi) to undertake the tour on days set aside for provincial work in order to limit costs. They would be joined by either one or two additional members depending on the amount of additional funds that could be acquired for the committee. Mr R M Nyakane and Ms B N Dlulane were nominated as the additional members in that order.
The Chairperson stated that the amount required by the committee would be high as the committee had to deal with four departments. It could therefore not be equated with a portfolio committee, which only had to deal with one portfolio. It was suggested that the Chairperson seek the assistance of the Whips in the committee's quest for more than the R100 000 that was given to select committees in the past financial year.
The committee expressed its satisfaction with the programmes outlined in the provisional budget but asked that allocations for ground travel and transfer from airports be made where relevant.
The committee accepted the provisional budget, with the above-mentioned amendments.
In his concluding remarks, the Chairperson once again criticised members for tardiness at meetings. He expressed the hope that this trend would be reversed in future. The committee accepted Mr R M Nyakane's apology for his lateness but he was reminded that party obligations should not clash with commitments to the committee.
Mr D M Kgware asked that the Office of the Chairperson of Committees be approached to ensure that members did not have to attend more than one committee meeting at the same time.
The Chairperson thanked members for their attendance.
The meeting adjourned at 16:25.
Rev P Moatshe (Chairperson)
Rev M Chabaku
Mrs E C Gouws
Ms B N Dlulane
Dr E A Conroy
Ms B Thompson
Mrs J N Vilakazi
Mr T B Taabe
Mr D M Kgware
Mr R M Nyakane
Mr A E van Niekerk
Mr M L Mokoena
SELECT COMMITTEE ON LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
REPORTS ON WESTERN CAPE, GAUTENG AND NORTH WEST STUDY TOUR ON LAND RESTITUTION CLAIMS
STUDY TOUR ON LAND CLAIMS AND RESTITUTION - WESTERN CAPE : 16 AND 17 OCTOBER 2000
The Committee has in the course of the year visited eight provinces in order to assess and evaluate the progress made with land claims and land restitution. The Constitution states that any person or community, or a direct descendant of such person, who was dispossessed of any right in land by virtue of a racially discriminatory law, shall be entitled to claim back that right. This does not mean that a person can simply lay claim to the land of his or her choice. The person must first lodge a claim with the new Commission on Restitution of Land Rights.
The objective of these visits was to find out first-hand from the people who were unfairly dispossessed and who were involved in the process, what their views were. The Western Cape tour was the final provincial visit undertaken.
Upon request by the Committee, the Commission of Restitution of Land Rights drafted a programme of areas to visit in the Western Cape over a two-day period.
MEMBERS OF THE DELEGATION
Rev P Moatshe (Chairperson of Committee)
Dr E A Conroy
Mrs B N Dlulane (present on 16 October)
Mr M L Mokoena
Mr R Nyakane
Mrs J N Vilakazi (present on 17 October)
DAY ONE (MONDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2000)
Mr Sandile Swartbooi, and Mr Siretsi Moruakgomo, both of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, accompanied the delegation to the various areas visited on the day.
DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM
The delegation met with Mr Noor Ebrahim, a staff member of the Museum and also an ex-resident of District Six before the forcible removals of families from the area in 1966.
The delegation was given a tour of the museum to get an understanding of the community of District Six in the Apartheid days.
District Six was an area in Cape Town at the foot of Table Mountain, near to the harbour and the city bowl. It was an area where blacks, whites and coloureds lived as a community and which together created a rich mixture of different cultures. Most of the people who lived in District Six, were working class. They wanted to live close to the city, harbour and factories where they worked. The early part of the 19th century saw the outbreak of the bubonic plague and the first forced removals from District Six. Thousands of black people were forced out and over two thousand houses were demolished and rebuilt. As the city and the population continued to grow, the municipality did not provide adequate water and refuse facilities. Roads were left to deteriorate and landlords took little interest in the maintenance and upkeep of their houses. The government used this neglect to refer to District Six as a slum to justify the removals based on race.
In 1950 the Groups Areas Act was passed by the government, which forced people into racial groups. In 1966 District Six was declared a 'whites only" area. Between 1966 and 1980 60 000 people were forcibly removed from District Six and their homes and shops bulldozed to the ground. District Six then became Zonnebloem. Families and friends were split up and moved to the Cape Flats. The memory of District Six is proof that people of different religions, nationalities and racial groups can live together.
Mr Noor Ebrahim belongs to one of many families who are currently involved in claiming restitution as a result of having lost their homes in District Six during the Apartheid era.
A memorandum was sent to the Minister of Land Affairs requesting approval for land restitution damages for the claimants of District Six. The Minister's approval is pending. Mr Ebrahim indicated that when monetary compensation is paid out, it will be divided amongst all the descendants of each family who are entitled to it. It is understood that each family would receive an amount of R15 000 as compensation.
The delegation met with Ms Joan Japhtha, who is a member of the committee comprising community members who are dealing with the land claims issue for the area.
During the Apartheid era, Franschhoek North was known as Le Rouxdorp, where both coloureds and whites resided together. However, when the Group Areas Act was introduced, Le Rouxdorp was declared a coloured community. All the coloured families (18) from Franschoek were then moved into Le Rouxdorp and the white people were moved to other areas and given attractive compensation packages. Coloured homeowners in Franschoek owned large properties, but were paid low compensation for their land. 18 families were evicted from Franschoek and had to rent houses when they were forced to move to Le Rouxdorp, and the little money that they had received as compensation for the loss of their homes was used to pay for the rent, which left very little for anything else.
Ms Japhtha indicated that the land restitution has been a 5-year long process, but it is the "end of the road now", as the Minister of Land Affairs had approved the restitution claim for Franschoek North and soon the claims would be paid out. Ms Japhtha stated that she expects that it would vary from family to family as to whether they would want monetary or land compensation. She noted that claimants opting for land compensation would receive only a plot of land, with no services attached to it. Money would have to be spent to build homes on those tracts of land. Ms Japhtha also indicated that a development company wants to purchase the land to build a golf course and has approached the Committee and indicated that it wants a win-win situation.
Ms Japhtha informed the delegation that there is a special Committee comprising of residents of Franschoek North who are dealing with the issue of restitution. The Committee has also enlisted the assistance of a lawyer to represent the best interests of the community. She also stated that there had been problems with the local Council who initially refused to allow the claims through as it argued that it was not accountable for the loss of land of the community. When the Committee employed the services of a lawyer, the claims were passed through. However, the Committee has lodged an objection against the Council, whom it feels appears to be backing off, and does not appear to have the interests of the community at heart. The Commission on
Restitution of Land Rights will be meeting with its Legal Resource Centre that evening to discuss the problem, after which a meeting would be called with the Franschhoek local Council. The Parliamentary delegation agreed that the discussions should take place between the Department of Land Affairs and the Council and the Committee and claimants should not be involved in that process. The Parliamentary Committee would also like to know the outcome of the consequent meetings with the local Council of Franschhoek.
MEETING WITH WESTERN CAPE COMMISSIONER, MR ALAN ROBERTS
The delegation had a short lunch meeting with the Western Cape Commissioner of Restitution of Land Rights, Mr Alan Roberts.
Mr Roberts indicated that his office has been inundated with approximately 500 calls daily on issues of land restitution. He praised his employees as being good workers who put in long hours of overtime and who are interested in the subject matter they are dealing with. All the employees of the Commission are contractually employed and not paid enough for the amount of work they put in, and hence quite often the Commission lose good workers who have no option but to seek better salaries because they have families to support.
The claim must relate to a dispossession, which took place after 19 June 1913. In addition, claims had to be lodged within a period of 3 years from 1 May 1995. Once a claim has been lodged, the Commission will advise the owner of the land being claimed and all other interested parties. Notice of the claim will also be published in the Government Gazette and forwarded to the relevant Registrar of Title Deeds. This will enable a prospective buyer of land to see whether it is the subject of a pending land claim.
The delegation met with Mr Lameyer, Mrs Botes, Mrs Kriel and Mr Daffnee, who are members of the Oukloof Land Claim Committee of Riebeek Kasteel in the Malmesbury District.
A claim by the Oukloof Land Claim Committee was submitted on behalf of the former residents of the Oukloof area of Riebeek Kasteel on 21 April 1997 in compliance with Section 11 (1) and 2(1) of the Restitution Act 22 of 1994, as amended, and Section 25 (3) of the Constitution and gazetted on 18 July 1997.
The Oukloof location was established as a coloured location early this century when a white farmer donated of his land to the Dutch Reformed Church for this purpose. Oukloof is 2 km from Riebeek Kasteel. The church assumed responsibility for administering this settlement, nominal sums were paid annually for water to the Church. The claimants built their own houses but were prohibited from owning the land by the church.
At the time of removal in 1961, the land belonged to the Village Management Board, who in order to make way for extension of the white residential area, forcibly removed the residents of Oukloof, bulldozed their homes and moved them to a newly built township, Esterhof. The removal was done according to the Group Areas Act of 1957.
The houses at Esterhof at the time were worse than the homes the claimants were removed from. The claimants were expected to pay one months rent to move into the houses and were promised by the municipality that after 10 years the houses would be theirs.
A total of 57 households were removed at the time of the dispossession and 56 households lodged a claim. When claimants initially lodged their claims, they stated that they did not want restoration of the dispossessed property, but wanted tenure upgrade and a structural upgrade of their municipal house in Esterhof. However, the majority of the claimants cannot attain full tenure security because their payments for rates, housing and services are in arrears and the Malmesbury Municipality could take possessions of their properties if they do not honour their debts. It is the position of the Commission that compensating claims financially, in order to settle their arrears with the Municipality authority will allow them to acquire full tenure security. The full financial compensation is R980 000, which will be split amongst 56 families, so that each family would receive R17 500 each.
Mr Lameyer indicated that claimants are unhappy as currently the residents are the owners of their properties, but do not have proof on paper. The Malmesbury municipality has informed residents that they will not be granted title deeds to their properties until all the residents backdated debts have been settled. This means that those residents who have no debts would also be denied receipt of the title deeds to their homes. The question that the delegation raised was whether the land is communally owned by all the residents together or privately owned.
Mr Lameyer informed the delegation that the residents opted for the R17 500 compensation to be used to pay off their outstanding debts, in order to obtain their title deeds. They intend to use the rest of the money to develop and upgrade their homes.
Once the monies have been paid out, the Commission of Restitution of Land Rights would follow up to see if the money and debts have been paid off and whether the titles deeds have been allocated to the residents.
The delegation agreed that the Chairperson would approach the Select Committee on Housing to follow -up what the situation is as regards the issue of the title deeds. In addition, the Oukloof Land Claim Committee should approach the town clerk of Malmesbury to find out whether Riebeek Kasteel is privately or communally owned.
DAY TWO (TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2000)
The delegation flew to George and were met by Mr T Mofokeng from the Commission of Restitution of Land Rights. The delegation undertook a 1Â½ road journey to Slangrivier and met with members of the Slangrivier Land Claims Committee, as follows, Mr D Lotz, Mr D Esau and Mr C Hoogbaard.
The delegation heard that the Minister has approved the restitution settlement package which forms part of other land reform programmes such as redistribution since this area is an Act 9 area. The Slangrivier Land Claims Committee also indicated that the residents have waited 7 years for the restitution packages to be paid out. The residents not only want monetary compensation for the loss of their homes in the Apartheid era, but also want to receive land restitution as they do not feel it was right that they have to buy back the plots that were owned by them and which had been forceably removed from them. Slangrivier will receive R680 000 as compensation.
The delegation agreed that it would approach the Minister about the problems the residents are experiencing and will request that Parliament look into the issues of monies that have been made available to the community, but that have not been used for that purpose.
STUDY TOUR ON LAND CLAIMS AND RESTITUTION - GAUTENG PROVINCE
The Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs, having visited Gauteng Province on 18 and 19 May 2000, reports as follows:
The delegation to the Province was comprised of the following: Ms R A Ndzanga, Ms B N Dlulane, Ms B Thompson and Mr T C Thisani (Committee Secretary)
The delegation held a meeting with the representatives from the following claimants: Ablative, Ellison and Steynberg, Lady Selbourne and Highlands.
Present at the meeting
Ablative representatives - G J Braam, R J Goodall and D A Chota.
Lady Selbourne representative - M P S Makopo and V I R Sibiya,
Ellison and Steynberg representatives - R R Mashego, J S Campbell, R E Motsei, J Molapo, K Molapo and M J Mutle
Highlands representatives - I Seckle and G Seckle
RLCC - Ms E Mashinini (Regional Land Claims Commissioner - Gauteng and North West), T Sebola, M Hlekane, M Mutlou, M Mallane and B Mphela (DLA)
All claims lodged are for the loss of freehold title to individually owned properties in the Township of Ablative. 223 claims were lodged with the Regional Land Claims Commission Office Gauteng and North West on or before 31 December 1998. The claims are for 520 properties (i.e. some people are claiming more than one property). To date 188 claims have been gazetted after thorough investigation and verification . This process is ongoing and is nearly completed for the remaining claims.
The claimants have formed a Committee known as the Community Association for the Restoration of Land (CAL). It represents the majority of the claimants. At present the body has power of attorney to lodge claims and assist in obtaining documentation for the research of the claims.
Steps are currently being taken to obtain a mandate from the claimants' authorizing the Committee to negotiate and settle the claim on their behalf.
All claims that have been accepted comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in that according to Section 2, the claimants were dispossessed of their right in land after 19 June 1913 or are direct descendants of the persons dispossessed. Due to the racial laws and practices of the past the claimants may be deemed to have not received just and equitable compensation.
The history of acquisition and dispossession of rights in land, which have given rise to the Ablative claims.
The claims are for restoration of land rights in the Township of Ablative. Ablative is situated in a shallow valley south of Northcliff Ridge and is under the jurisdiction of the Northern Metropolitan Local Council of Greater Johannesburg.
The first reference of the suburb of Ablative, portion of the farm Waterval 211 was on 1 October 1896 when auctioneer H J Morkel offered stands of sale on behalf of the Ablative syndicate. The area came to be known as Ablative, named after the Alberts family who leased part of the farm Waterval from J P Ackerman. Initially only Whites could own stands in Ablative.
Through application of the Slums Act of 1934, 'Coloured' occupiers of properties in the inner city areas were moved out to provide additional space for industry and commerce. In 1935 the Johannesburg City Council applied successfully to the Secretary of Native Affairs to declare Ablative a Colored township. The suburb rapidly became built up as people moved in from Fordsburg, Jeppe and Doornfontein. Houses, shops and community buildings were erected, many by the community itself.
As a result, by the mid 1940's, Ablative had become a mixed race area occupied mostly by Coloureds but also Indians, Chinese and Whites.
History of dispossession
The first intimation that "coloured people" were to be removed came in 1949 when there was correspondence between the Town Clerk of Johannesburg and the then Native Commissioner to the effect that Ablative might become a Whites-only area.
During the 1950's, various laws and proclamations were enacted relating to the Group Areas Act giving a legal basis to the dispossession of the 'non-white' people of Ablative. The first part of the removal procedure commenced in 1956 when 'Searchers Reports' were circulated to property owners.
This form required information as to the size, date of acquisition and mortgage bonds of the affected properties, as well as details of the owners and occupants, including information pertaining to their racial group.
In 1957 notices in terms of Section 17 (1) of the Group Areas Development Act were sent to all owners informing them that their property had been included in the list of affected properties. It also mentioned that any objections should be lodged by a certain date. Virtually all the owners submitted written objections.
A valuation of all the properties was then conducted by the Group Areas Board. This valuation was also challenged and disputed by some of the Ablative residents. The claimants brought a test case on the validity of the Group Areas Valuation, which was dismissed with costs. The culmination of resistance resulted in a public enquiry held in Johannesburg in December 1961. A significant number of organizations submitted written testimonies contesting Albertville's change of status to a white group area. Their submissions were turned down.
From the date of the proclamation of 1956 which gazetted Ablative for future occupation and ownership by whites, the residents of Ablative began to sell their properties to the Group Areas Board. Others waited until after a public hearing and the final proclamation of May 1962. After this date the final removal of the people of Ablative commenced in earnest.
Ablative landowners were severely disadvantaged in having to move. No money was made available for their relocation and transport. They were entitled only to a preferential first option to buy stands in Bosmont where there were no services such as shops, post offices etc. at the time. Also the enforced move to Bosmont involved very high costs because stands were expensive, it being close to an industrial area.
Many residents chose not to go to Bosmont and migrated to Cape Town or emigrated. Less affluent families had to move to high density, low quality council flats in Riverlea and Western Native Location (which became a 'coloured' area), and became tenants of the council.
Although the Slums Act was initially used to remove Coloured people from the inner city areas of Johannesburg to Ablative in 1935, and such a removal was definitely racially motivated, this original removal is not the subject of the present claims, which are for the removal from Ablative between 1956 and 1965. The legislation used and the proclamations and practices which flowed from this legislation was the Group Areas Act and the Group Areas Development Act.
The initial indication of impending Group Areas legislation which made removals a national competence, was correspondence in 1949 between the Town Clerk of Johannesburg and the Native Commissioner of the Transvaal, which mentioned that a possibility existed that the township of Ablative may be zoned as a "European" Area.
Assessment of Compensation
According to the claimants, the valuation of their properties that was conducted by the Group Areas Board was cursory, with many of the properties not having even been physically entered, the valuation was 'done from the street''. It would appear from extant files of the Group Areas Board (now known as Community Developments files), that the valuations were done in the second half on 1957. In some cases the property owners (The Ablative Ratepayers Association) commissioned their own valuation, as they were dissatisfied with the State's process of valuation. The amounts would differ, but always the valuation done by the individuals was disregarded, and an assessment was made at the time of actual dispossession, based on the original Group Areas valuation.
A record of these State valuations done at the time if available in the registry of the Gauteng Department of Housing together with some independent valuations done by the claimants.
In 1960 one of the claimants, Mr P A Down, with the backing of the Ablative Ratepayers Association, brought a test case against the Group Areas Board challenging Section 69 of the Group Areas Act. The essence of the case was to challenge the powers of valuators in terms of the Group Areas Act. This case and the subsequent appeal were dismissed by the court with costs. (Down vs. Malan N O and others SA Law Reports vol. 2 1960).
The court record confirms that the Group Area valuations were done on the basis of replacement cost and and not current market value. In dismissing the case, the court decided thatâ€¦.
"there was no obligation on respondents to make any disclosure to the appellant â€¦. There is no provision in the Act or regulations that the facts and information gained by the valuators â€¦. In the exercise of their powers regarding inspections, enquiries etc. are to be specifically disclosed to the owner concerned, or that the owner should be given a hearing before the provisional valuation is made".
Mr Down claimed that his property was worth 4,575 pounds as opposed to the Group Areas valuation of 2175 pounds.
From the discussion on compensation above, it is clear that the property market in Ablative was abnormal, probably depressed by the uncertainties prevailing since at least 1951.
The claimants were probably under-compensated by having their properties valued at replacement cost and the manner in which the Group Areas valuation was conducted.
In Mr Down's case, the under-compensation claimed by him at the time of 2,400 pounds in 1960 would amount to about R150 000 today based on the Consumer price index and R2 =1 pound, if the independent valuation is used.
Argument as to why Property Valuations done at the time of dispossession should not be used or relied upon. Even if the valuations done at the time of dispossession has been just and equitable, relying purely on this criterion to assess under-compensation ignores the historical circumstances at the time of the dispossession. It assumes that restitution of claimants by using under-compensation as the criterion will compensate for their loss. It ignores the historical circumstances at the time of the dispossession. It assumes that restitution claimants by using under-compensation as the criterion will compensate for their loss. It ignores the fact that dispossessions were forced human rights violations and abuses, which involved destruction of community networks, loss of a range of opportunities such as business, schooling, health etc, not to mention the actual 'pain and suffering' experienced. It assumes that if the compensation was correctly assessed by the valuation, then that payment sufficiently compensated them for their loss and the claimants should not receive restitution today.
The compensation assessed by the Group Area valuation process which resulted in expropriation cannot be seen as normal compensation as would be the case for a 'normal' expropriation in a nonracial environment. This is because the compensation received could not fully restore their rights as it could not be used to purchase equivalent property in the area of their choice. Furthermore, in normal expropriations it is required that the expropriation be done for the greater public good. This would assume that the claimant would benefit in some way. Clearly this was not the case for expropriation based on racial legislation.
With reference to the Down case it is quite clear that even if the claimant had had the opportunity to take the valuation to court on review, this would have been a futile exercise, as the courts were bound by the legislation of the time. Courts were bound to enforce racial legislation and could not challenge the constitutionality thereof, as Acts of Parliament were supreme.
It should be determined whether the correct interpretation of 'taking compensation into account' means deducting compensation received from the hypothetical market value of the property at dispossession as calculated by a dubious 'historical' valuation done today. 'Taking into account' means to take note thereof, and depending on the circumstances and/or merits of each case, whether or not it should be deducted.
In conclusion, the claimants would ask that compensation received at the time not be used to calculate the Monetary value of the claim, but the following method which takes into account the requirement for equitable redress, without trying to establish the actual value of each claim, be used.
The Regional Land Claims Commission and the claimants are therefore of the opinion that to try to establish the monetary value of the claims of Ablative through a historical valuation is inadvisable. The principle reasons for this are as follows:
- The lack of available evidence of the true nature of the properties at the time of dispossession;
- There are serious doubts as to the accuracy of historical valuations;
- Historical valuations fail to take the historical circumstances of the time into account in that they accept the Group Areas Valuation as legitimate, and do not take into account the fact that the claimants were not able to fully restore their rights with this compensation by re-establishing themselves in the area of their choice, or benefit indirectly from the use to which their expropriated properties would be put, as would be the case with a normal expropriation in a non racial environment.
- Applying historical valuations could lead to a situation as is presently pertaining to the Highlands Claims where claimants might be eliminated based on historical valuations, without other circumstances being taken into account such as rights lost of business, community and pain and suffering. (This approach is currently being argued by the Department in the Land Claims Court against the recommendation of the Commission);
- The high cost of a historical valuation, which could be approximately R150 000, and which has not even been budgeted for in this financial year;
Service Site Integrated Approach
- This alternative to historical valuations addresses the notion of equitable redress and recognizes the historical circumstances of the time.
- The Regional Land Claims Commission Office Gauteng and North West would like to link the value of the serviced sites of Ablative to the restitution award for monetary compensation.
- The Commission's reason is that this value would correspond to the amount that the State would hypothetically have paid for a site for a claimant in Ablative, had there been a housing development planned for the area today. Such an amount would be equitable in that all claimants would receive a benchmark award, the only variable being related to the size of the property that they lost. It would therefore eliminate the tendency as has been occurring with awards based on historical valuations for awards, to vary widely, or claims to be eliminated entirely. It also takes into account the fact that a human rights abuse occurred to all people who were dispossessed in Ablative, irrespective of the compensation they might have received.
- Awards made in this way could therefore be seen as recognition of the abuse suffered, rather than as an impossible attempt to find the exact value lost by the claimant. It would therefore address the notion of equitable redress as required by the Act.
Recommendations of the RLCC
The majority of sites claimed in Ablative were 248 square meters. Most claimants owned adjacent sites, meaning that they are claiming more than one property. The values of the 248 square meter properties as valued by the municipal valuation roll of 1996, vary between R5000 and R20 000 each. While these figures do not reflect the current market value of the properties, they do give an indication of the lowest approximate market value. A further point to be considered, is that the existence of claims has probably decreased the current market value of the claims.
Taking the above into account, we would recommend that a valuator be commissioned to find the average market value based on a representative sample of the properties in 1994 (preceding the Restitution Act), as well as the current market value today (1999), to arrive at a value. This would establish the average market value per square meter of the claims in Ablative. This value would be multiplied by the area of land actually lost by the claimants to obtain the monetary value of their claim. The Commission estimated that this amount should not exceed R30 000 per site of 248 square meter. This works out at a maximum of R120,967 per square meter.
If the valuation amount is less than R20 000 per property, the amount to R20 000 would be raised, of R80.645 per square meter. We base this on a principle of equity, since claimants who did not lose registered rights have already been given sites valued at R14 500 each (Kipi award). We would argue that the Ablative claimants lost a greater right in that they lost a registered right of ownership. In the cases where the properties are larger than 248 square meter, the compensation would be calculated by multiplying the average value per square meter by the size of the property lost. In these cases the amount payable would be higher. Therefore the monetary value of the property will be based on a standard value per square meter of the size of the original property.
The Commission sees the settlement of the claims of Ablative by means of the payment of monetary compensation based on the current market value of a serviced site in the present township. This is informed by the fact that the land claimed is substantially built up, and therefore is not feasible for restoration. Furthermore there is no housing development taking place or planned in the area or the surrounding areas which are also built up.
In addition, the claimants could be awarded a solarium payment of R3000 to be paid for each claimed property, to account for the consequential loss suffered by the claimants. As this amount cannot be individually quantified, it would serve as a recognition by the State of the pain, suffering and dislocation and addition financial loss suffered by the claimants when they were obliged to leave their homes and settle elsewhere.
The individual claimants of Ablative have in a number of consultations with the Commission indicated that they are interested in financial compensation. In a number of meetings, the committee has expressed that they do not want to see widely varying awards which would be the case if the claims were evaluated by means of historical valuations. They have also indicated that they are willing to discuss the serviced site approach to negotiating the claims, as they recognize the difficulties involved in finding the exact value of what each claimant lost by historical methods.
However, the Claimants Committee has a different view of the method to be used to calculate the monetary value of the claims. They would like an equivalent amount to the value of the 248 square meter site to be added on for consequential loss for each claimant as opposed to the Commission's recommendation of R3000. The claimants reasoning is that as the serviced site approach ignores individual improvements on properties claimed, this amount is justifiable. They feel that he amount which would result from the Commission proposal is too little and would be rejected by the majority of the claimants if put to them.
The Northern Metropolitan Local Council is not a party to the claims, as the claims are for monetary compensation, and the land claimed is privately owned. However they have expressed their approval informally at meetings, of the serviced site approach as it would apply in other areas under their jurisdiction. (Pageview and Sophiatown)
- That the Minister should decide which proposal for the calculation of financial compensation for the Ablative claimants as articulated by the RLCC: Gauteng & North West and the claimants should be endorsed.
- That the proposal to conduct a market valuation to determine the average value of a serviced site in Ablative.
- That if the RLCC approach is adopted, the proposal to make a payment for consequential loss be endorsed.
- That the RLCC: Gauteng & North West be mandated to negotiate with the claimants as per the above-mentioned framework for the calculation of financial compensation.
The Lady Selbourne land claims were lodged by the originally dispossessed persons of the areas or their direct descendants as individuals. 868 individual claims for 962 properties were lodged with the Regional Land Claims Commission Gauteng and North West in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act 22 of 1994 as amended.
The history of acquisition and dispossession of land rights that has given rise to the Lady Selbourne claims is as follows:
Lady Selbourne was established in 1905 as a freehold township for people of colour. It was incorporated into the City of Pretoria in 1949, by which date there were 1696 registered properties. In 1959 notices were served on the owners of properties and their tenants in terms of The Group Areas Amendment Act 29 of 1956, to vacate their properties and removals began soon after. The inhabitants were wither relocated in the 'black' townships of Pretoria, or in the so-called homelands. By 1973 all the inhabitants had been removed and their houses demolished. All the properties were by then registered with the Pretoria City Council.
In 1975 the Council resurveyed the Township and altered its layout. It remained a residential area for whites only and was renamed Suiderburg. The Western half of the area was not developed and remains empty, as are parts of the Eastern part. All of the undeveloped land is still owned by the Pretoria City Council, while the developed property is privately owned. In November 1999 the Pretoria City Council agreed to develop the undeveloped western portion into serviced stands for future occupation by the claimants of Lady Selbourne who seek restoration.
History of dispossession
The claims are for the restitution of land rights on properties dispossessed in the former Lady Selbourne now known as the remainder of portion of the farm Zandfontein 317JR and the township of Suiderburg. A large proportion of the land is empty and undeveloped but is currently being developed by the Pretoria City Council.
Investigation by the Regional Land Claims Commission Gauteng and North West has identified the claimants to be those persons or their direct descendants who were dispossessed of their right of ownership by the racial laws and practices of the past. The claimants are individuals who were dispossessed of a right in land after 19 June 1913 as a result of past discriminatory laws and practices, or their direct descendants.
The office of the Regional Land Claims Commission: Gauteng and North West has received 868 individual claims claiming 962 properties in the area of the original Lady Selbourne.
The Claimants formed a Committee for the lodgement and prosecution of the claim to final settlement. However it should be noted that agreements will have to be entered into separately with all the affected individuals who have lodged claims.
The parties involved in the settlement of the claims are:
- The individual claimants who were dispossessed of their right in land.
- The Pretoria City Council as represented by Mr N Pillay
- The State as represented by the Regional Land Claims Commissioner: Gauteng and NorthWest.
The Regional Land Claims Commission Gauteng and North West office has had discussion with the claimant's committee about the broad approach to settling the claim. It was agreed that the Commission would endeavour to establish a monetary value of the claims without having to resort to historical valuations. In this regard a Mandate to make an offer to the claimants was formulated and was approved in general by the Minister. Within the options expressed by the Mandate, the Regional Land Claims Commissioner Gauteng and North West chose the 'flat rate' or Standard Settlement Offer option.
Most of the claimants are opting for restoration of their original land and or alternate land in the original area of Lady Selbourne if their original site is built on. This land is currently being developed in serviced sites by the Pretoria City Council. This development will only be ready in the second half of 2000. The Commission has agreed to pay R16 000 per site for the sites to the council. A minority of claimants are opting for monetary compensation only.
The nature of the offer of the claimants is therefore as follows:
Each claimant will receive in effect R40 000 per erf/lot claimed as the monetary value of their claim. Those claimants opting for Monetary Compensation only will receive the full R40 000 per erf/lot claimed, in one sum. Those claimants opting for sites in the development will receive immediately R24 000 per erf/lot claimed. The balance of R16 000 per site will be paid to the Pretoria City Council when the sites have been services. Payment will be made on transfer. For those claimants receiving sites in the Development of Lady Selbourne, a further restitution discretionary grant of R3000 per claimant will be applied for by the Commission.
Recommendations by RLCC
It is recommended that the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs make the following Section 42D award for the claimants of Lady Selbourne:
- That all claimant units receive as their restitution award an amount of R40 000 in respect of each erf/lot.
-That the State retain the amount of R16 000 per erf/lot claimed for the payment of serviced sites to the Pretoria City Council, for those claimants opting for sites in the development being undertaken by them, which payment to be made on transfer to the Council on completion of the servicing of the sites.
- Approves the agreement to be entered into by Lady Selbourne claimants and the Department of Land Affairs as referred to the State attorney's office for approval in terms of Treasury instruction.
- Approves the agreement with the Pretoria City Council that the council will reserve the sites it is servicing in the development of Lady Selbourne for claimants and that the servicing of the sites will be paid from the amount awarded to the claimants who want site at the rate of R16 000 per erf/lot.
- Mandates the Regional Land Claims Commissioner Gauteng and North West's or her nominee to sign the above mentioned agreement and Deed of sale where applicable on behalf of the Department as a representative of the State in this matter.
During the meeting the Select Committee, the representatives of Lady Selbourne claimants voiced the following:
The delivery of the land to the claimants seems to take too long.
The lack of resources in the office of the RLCC is the contributing factor.
Lot of money is wasted on consortiums.
Delivery in urban areas is slow because the Minister focuses on rural claims.
People are concerned about the allocation of blanket size of plots.
Name of Lady Selbourne must be restored.
ELLISON AND STEYNBERG
The land consisted of the following farms in the district of Bronkhorstspruit (formerly district of Pretoria), Province of Gauteng; Doornkraal 425 JR and Onverwacht 424 JR. Doornkraal 424 JR (Portion 1 known as Ellison Agricultural Holdings). Elision Agricultural Holdings, comprising of 86 Holdings were laid out on a certain Portion 1, in extent 400,5265 morgen (343,5253 ha) of the farm Doornkraal 425 JR. The farm was originally registered in the name of Thomas Elision Lowe under Certificate of Registered Title - T3422/1933 dated 24 June 1933.
Onverwacht 425 JR (Portion 58, known as Steynberg Small Holdings) (This portion on which the Steynberg Small Holdings were laid out was only a portion of the farm Onverwacht 424 JR).
Steynberg Small Holdings were laid out on portion 58 (a portion of Portion 55) of Onverwacht 424 JR, in extent 102 morgen (87,7561 ha). These properties were originally registered in the name of Coenraad Steynberg under Certificate of Registered Title - T3763/1932.
Steynberg sold some of these Holdings to the State. Steynberg sold the remaining Holdings (described as the remaining extent), in extent 99 morgen to Elision Lowe. The property was transferred in his name on 13 May 1933 in terms of Deed of Transfer T3322/1933.
This farm, in extent 1576 and 271 square roods (1350,2813 hectares) was originally registered in 1860 in the name of Daniel Jacobus Erasmus. Daniel donated the farm to his son. The farm was subsequently sub-divided into 65 subdivisions and a remaining extent.
History of Dispossession
The land, regarded as a so-called portion, was expropriated in terms of Section 13(2) of the Development Trust and Land Act, 1936 (Act 18 of 1936). The Department of Bantu Administration and Development is the institution that dealt with the dispossession. The removals took place between the years 1965 - 1972. The community received one month notice letters informing them of their removal. Prior to the removal, a letter was sent by the Department of Bantu Administration and Development to every landowner stipulating inter alia the following:
The owners who owned less than 20 morgen of land were not entitled to compensatory land but would be given sites at Leboneng, and would have to pay an annual fee for the occupation of the site. All the people whether owners or squatters would have to build their own houses.
After payment of compensation of their houses, the people would be allowed to demolish their houses and to recover such material in cases of estates or where the owner refused to sell his property.
The Elision and Steynberg co-ordinating forum had lodged a claim on the said agricultural holdings through the now defunct Commission on Land Allocation as far back as 1994. Later in the same year, when the forum was making a follow up on the progress of their claim, they were informed that their claim will be dealt with by the new Commission on Restitution of land Rights. The major obstacle with regard to their claim was that there was no indication of whether the community was claiming individually or collectively. The community had lodged only four claims. With further investigation it was realized that the two agricultural holdings involve a number of people. As a result each individual claimant had to claim a particular stand or plot according to their deed of transfer separately and not jointly as it was done initially.
The RLCC therefore embarked on the provisions of Section 12(4) of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, the aim being to invite all potential claimants. The notice states inter alia that anyone who lived or owned property in those areas (or their descendants) and who were forcible removed in terms of racially based measures could have a claim for the restitution of land rights. The potential claimants were requested to submit claims within a period of 90 days from 7 June 1996 to 5 September 1996. To date, 69 claims (total of 75 properties) have been lodged and 54 claims have been gazetted.
Current status of the land
The land is vacant. After the land was expropriated or acquired it was transferred to the State and placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works. The properties are still registered in the name of the Republic of South Africa. The claimants indicated that Onverwacht portions have been developed mainly for residential purposes.
During the meeting with the representatives of Elision and Steynberg, the following concerns were raised:
- Courts claim that whatever compensation was paid during the expropriation was equitable.
- The community feels that they were not equitably compensated.
- A business plan for the area is still awaiting approval by the Minister of Land and Agriculture.
- The approval is holding up development for the area.
According to Muriel Horrel, the distribution of the population "groupings" in 1955 within central Pretoria was racially mixed. However, to the North West of the city were the Cape Location, the Asiatic Bazaar, and the Bantule African Location, designated for the respective "race groups". The obvious objective of the Group Areas removals was to drive out those members of society classified as non-White from the center into the periphery of the city. So it was with The Highlands.
The Highlands, as formerly known, was situated in an area presently known as Newlands Extension 2. It had 99 plots. It was a free hold area administered by the Peri-Urban Health Board. In terms of infrastructure, streets were well developed. It lacked running water and electricity. 47 claims have been lodged with the Gauteng and North West offices of the Regional Land Claims Commissioner. 34 have been gazetted. Historical valuation has been conducted on 43 claims. Others were left due to late lodging or unavailability of information from claimants.
A committee was elected by the community with no negotiation powers but only to facilitate the process. Towards negotiations, four members were given Powers of Attorney to negotiate and settle on behalf of claimants. The members are Fr David Marupen (chairperson), George Seckle jr. (Secretary), Ivan Seckle and David Veldman.
History of Dispossession
Notice No. 1744 under Section 13 of the Group Areas Development Act, 1955 (Ac No. 69 of 1955) was published in the Government Gazette on the 21st November 1958. It was followed by a Proclamation No 150 published on the Government Gazette on the 6th June 1958. A third Notice No. 754 was published on the 19th May 1961 declaring The Highlands and other areas in the Magisterial District of Pretoria areas for occupation by the "White Group", or any other matter related to Group Areas practices.
Rumours began to circulate in 1950 that the Highlands residents will be removed under the Group Areas policies to relocate in Eersterust. The official notices that came later did not give the expropriated the option to sell their properties by a given date or face expropriation.
It only notified them that there is an Act of Parliament stating that they were dispossessed of their properties. The Highlands Township committee, chaired by George Seckle sr. and Fr David Marupen serving as secretary, took the Peri-Urban Board to court in opposition to the removals. The committee lost the case in court. Something which is not a surprise.
A few people took the route of selling the properties before they were expropriated. This created tensions within the community. They were seen in the eyes of those who resisted to the end as betrayers of the cause. This perception persisted for a while after resettling in Eersterust.
However, with time relations were restored. There are those who moved when the date set for moving arrived. There are also those who were physically uprooted by government officials. When people were at work, in this case predominantly men, government officials came and loaded people's goods into the trucks to dump them in Eersterust. The people left at home were predominantly women and children.
Care to property was not given. Furniture was damaged. People were dumped into houses and told that those were their properties from then and after. The other family members were to only return from work to The Highlands and find out that their family members are gone. They had to go and search for their family members who were dumped in Eersterust unceremoniously.
A few refused to leave even after this exercise of forcibly loading people into government trucks. An example is the Seckle family. Ivan Seckle was given a 7 days notice. He was confronted at work where he was teaching at Ferguson High School. He was told to leave within that period or his house will be pulled down.
Those who had poultry, pigs, or any other animals had to slaughter them because there would not be space to keep them in Eersterust. The means to obtain livehood through domestic farming and small businesses were lost. Those who augmented their income though letting their properties for accommodation also lost that benefit.
The elderly who put their lives into developing their properties in The Highlands cound not start from scratch in Eersterust. Many of them did not live that long in Eersterust. Their enthusiasm for things simply withered away. They died of heartbreak.
There are those who contracted diseases such as tuberculoses due to the unhealthy living conditions in Eersterust. Eersterust is near a dumping site. There was one small primary school. There was no high school, college or clinic. People had to travel to the then H F Verwoed hospital now Pretoria Academic Hospital, for medical assistance.
There was no public transport to work. People were now further from their workplaces and town in general as compared to The Highlands. The infrastructure in Eersterust was still being put in place when people had to relocate there.
The Highlands was prioritized for investigation in June 1997 when a researcher and a fieldworker were hired to investigate the claims. One of the difficulties in the investigation of the claim was that the then Department of Community Development files are not available. The commission's investigation proceeded in the following manner: an initial meeting/workshop was held to explain the process followed by a Loco Inspection of Newlands Extension 2. Thereafter Commission workers contacted claimants by telephone, letter and personal visits in order to obtain relevant documents.
This was done sometimes with the assistance of the committee. After most of the claims had been gazetted, responses were received fro the current landowners, and a meeting was held to explain the status of the claims.
The Commission decided to commission valuers to undertake historic valuations of all the properties claimed. The decision to contract out the valuation and pay for it from the Commission budget was made after the consultation with the Director-General of the DLA. The reason given was that the Department being a party to the clam could not be a party to the valuations. A brief was then prepared and three firms of valuers were interviewed. Jimmy and Choeu was selected to undertake the valuation and a contract with terms of reference were drawn up. The valuation study commenced on the 19th January 1998 and was completed by the end of February. Two meetings were held with the claimants the first to explain the purpose of the valuation and the second to hand over the reports on completion.
The investigation being deemed to be substantially completed, the Commission has decided to initiate the process of negotiating settlements of these claims.
The representatives of Highlands community raised the following concerns:
- The compensation for the lost of land, lives and property was never enough.
- The affected people of Highlands came out of the deal as losers.
- The rule of law was not applied when the community was being compensated.
- The court did not consider the plea of the attorney on behalf of the community who argued for fair and equitable settlement.
- The community feels that they were discriminated against because the formula used to calculate the settlement figure was only applicable to Highland, not the other areas.
- Some of the claims which were proved valid were dismissed by the court.
- There is a misguided belief that the community was properly compensated during the then expropriation.
- The court did not address the hardship felt by the community of highlands.
- The community feels that their dignity must be restored.
Visit to Payneville
The Committee met with following members of the community:
Mr A Hofmeyer and Mr P Hofmeyer (Developers); Mr K Madalene (Chairperson of Community)
The original township of Springs was eMagogoweni. In 1923 the authorities of the day deemed that it was too close to Springs and the Town Superintendent, a Mr Payne arranged for their settlement in the area which became known as Payneville. Between 1959 and 1976 the people of Payneville were removed to Kwa Thema. Their houses were demolished, and, the land has remained substantially vacant. Today the Springs Town Council owns about 25% of the land. The rest is owned by a private developer, International Manufacturing Engineering Company, who bought it and who has been developing if for low/medium cost housing. After the gazetting of Restitution claims in 1998, this development has been out on hold pending a resolution of these claims.
The land was originally owned by the Grootvlei Mine which gave use rights to the Springs Town Council to subdivide the land for residential purposes. The township was named after Mr Payne who negotiated the transfer and was responsible for its establishment. The Springs council built council housing on a portion, and surveyed and divided the rest into plots although the mine retained the mineral/mining rights to the land. Some of the residents resided in council built housing as tenants for which they paid rent. The rest obtained plots for which they paid a rental and were allowed to build their own houses. A town council report of 27 May 1958 indicates that Payneville had 690 municipal dwellings, 879 owner-built dwellings and 153 other stands used for churches, traders, gardening and municipal services. 42 stands were vacant.
History of dispossession.
In 1954 the then Mentz Commission recommended that townships with black residents are grouped together. The then Minister of Bantu Administration and Development consequently decided that the residents of Payneville be removed to Kwa Thema. The actual removal occurred between 1959 and 1976. The residents were paid compensation for their top structures, all of which were demolished. Because of the racial laws operating at the time, the only option for most of them was to take up the rental accommodation provided for them in Kwa Thema.
Council records indicate that with the consent of the then Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, a valuation of the improvements on the properties was undertaken by two valuers; a Mr L Taurog nominated by the Council, and a Mr L Nestadt nominated by the Payneville Native Advisory Board. The valuation of the house, less the valuation of the materials retained by the house owner constituted the base compensation paid to the house owner. In addition a consolation amount of 15% of the base valuation was added on in consideration of the inconvenience and expense incidental to removal. A further amount of R6,10 was paid to each resident in respect of the resident's rental for the first month in his or her new house in Kwa Thema. The records of the amount paid to each erf occupier is available, but not the original files or report detailing how this was arrived at.
The claims were individually lodged. A committee exists assisting to facilitate activities within the claimant community. Between 350 and 400 claims for restitution have been lodged with the office of the Regional Land Claims Commission.
The community raised the following concerns:
- The Minister is delaying the signing of agreement of purchase.
- The delay in signing of the agreement is holding up the development in the area.
- The government must allow more people to lodge the claims.
- Some claims are registered but there are outstanding documents.
STUDY TOUR ON LAND CLAIMS AND RESTITUTION - NORTH-WEST PROVINCE
The Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs, having undertaken a study tour to the North-West province on 18 to 19 May 2000, begs to report as follows:
The Committee embarked on a visit to the North-West Province with a view to assessing and evaluating the progress made on land claims and land restitution, as well as problems experienced by the communities. During the visit the Committee was able to meet with the MEC for Land and Agriculture, Members of the standing Committee on Land and Agriculture, Officials of the Department of Land and Agriculture, Legal advisor of the department, Members of the Land Claims Commission, Chief and the Bakolobeng representatives, the acting Chief of Bakwena ba Mahlako and the community, the Barolong ba-ga Barokologadi and the Bakwena tribe.
B. Purpose of this report
The purpose of this report is to present the findings of the Committee on the progress made and problems that are being experienced by all interested parties.
Meeting with MEC and Land Commission
The MEC for Land and Agriculture gave the general background on issues revolving around land claims and land restitution. Land is a thorny issue, as is being experienced in Zimbabwe. This situation is causing a panic in South Africa.. This situation might not happen in the country because, when comparing the two countries, Zimbabwe made promises that were not fulfilled after independence. South Africa, in 1994, recognised that the land issue was important and is trying to rectify the legacy of the past. The land question is enshrined in the constitution. These are ways which will help to resolve the land issue in peaceful way. There are some sectors of the community that are dissatisfied that claims have to be made as from 1913. They want that to go beyond that period, but unfortunately there are no records pertaining this. The 1995 Restitution Act was enacted to quell the situation and instil hope in people in South Africa. The Security of Tenure Act was aimed at settling and protecting people on the farms.
The Courts are clinging to clauses of the repealed Acts such as the Trespassing Act, the Property Rights Act as well as the Property Clause. This makes the work of the land commission a bit difficult. There are also some Acts which make the work of commission difficult because they do not give clear guidelines. The government has created institutions to give effect to these Acts and this shows its commitment and its intention to deliver. Issues such as a lack of capacity and resources are some of the limitations that are being addressed.
The country is part of the global community and agreements have been entered into. Some of these agreements are disadvantageous to us. The agreements are not protecting those who are involved in imports and exports, such as farmers and traders.
The process that has taken place includes the handing of land to the community in Putfontein and other small land claims have already been processed. The Minister of Agriculture has devolved powers to the MEC's in relation to collection of rentals on land and other related claims on the land. The issue of emerging farmers is not progressing well since banks are not willing to grant loans to this sector. The restitution process in the province is taking place at a snail's pace and is not satisfying. After the land has been distributed, people are left with no infrastructural developments and these communities have no development plans. This causes some problems.
The Minister of Land Affairs has devolved powers to the MEC to allocate land and to deal with land claims. This will help in speeding up the restitution process and to stop those loose cannons who want to invade land.. There is a mushrooming of this tendency in number of provinces including North-West.
The Chairperson of the Select Committee indicated that the purpose of the visit was to monitor and assess the progress made in the implementation of the laws made by Parliament. The study tour started last year in other provinces and is still continuing. The aim of this study tour was to look at the land restitution and land claims. The committee wanted to see if the people do get their land, and the progress and problems around land claims. There should be integrated efforts between the implementers, the department and the legislature in ensuring that land is restored to the owners.
Land Claims Commission
The Commission agrees with the MEC that some of the Acts are a hindrance to the Commission's work. Despite these weaknesses, the Commission has been able to settle some claims. The following is the breakdown of claims:
Total number of claims: 3945
Total number of claims prioritised: 87
Number of claims gazetted: 24
Number of claims in the negotiations phase: 9
Number of claims in court: 3
Number of beneficiaries of the recently settled claims: 5100
Total number of settled beneficiaries: 18800.
1.The approval of finalising Putfontein land claim
2.Research and negotiations are in progress for the special
project- Vogelfontein and Tweerevier.
3.Settlement of the remainder of Ratsegae (Portion 13)
4.Transfer of development funds of Ratsegae - on site
development taking place
5.Business plan for Dithakwanene is complete
6.Bakubung claimants completely resettled
7.A working relationship with and a commitment from the Dept of
Agriculture on the implementation of court orders and the
8.A working relationship with District Councils as service
9.Willingness by TRAC and ANCRA to assist in the process of
effectively settling claims
10.Political commitment from the Premier and the political head
on land issue.
-Resistance from land owners for the following reasons:
1.refusal to attend meetings
2.disagreement regarding valuation reports
3.questioning the validity of claims without conducting thorough
-Infighting amongst claimants
-Lack of co-ordination and commitment by other role players
-The process of acquiring state-owned land is a cumbersome
process. An interdepartmental procedural review is however in
-Ministerial/Departmental policy regarding compensation is
problematic and remains unresolved.
-Claimant verification is problematic.
-The cost of establishing historical valuations are
-Lack of capacity- staff component is not in position to handle
the current caseload.
-Some people are not sure of their land
-There is a problem of restitution versus development. Private
companies acknowledge the claims but want the land for
-Communal Property Association (CPA) is a legal entity, but it
gives the commission a lot of problems in settling land claims.
-There are claimants who had undivided shares prior to
dispossession and they do not want to have communal land.
-The courts want affidavits and birth certificates of claimants
and this delays the process. The fact that every claim should
go to court also frustrates for the commission.
Some of the solutions
1.The commission should be given some powers to investigate.
2.What claimants received in the past should not be considered.
Progress on advanced land claims
.Minister's response to compensation received is awaited.
.The claim is in court and there is no agreement on the price.
.Matter set for hearing.
.Offer made based on the valuation and recommended market price.
Agreement on price with all but one landowner.
.Mandate ready to be submitted
In the process of being finalized.
Submission made to the Minister of Public Works on the disposal of this land as it is state owned.
Moiland and Zamkomst
.The claim is being negotiated.
Awaiting the valuation report for further negotiations.
Awaiting valuation report for further negotiations.
Offers received from landowners.
Negotiations to start
Was gazetted; however, there is a problem tracing current landowners
Claim Gazetted and a stakeholders meeting was scheduled for 27 March 2000.
-Policy formulation at both the Provincial and National level
should be towards an integrated approach and it should be
aligned with a budget.
-Political co-ordination and commitment - there is an increased
need for co-ordination by relevant Departments to ensure
-Fast tracking of the North-West Commissioners would expedite
the settlement process.
-The decentralisation process- from the national office to the
-It has been realised that the 1978 Traditional Authority Act is thorn in the flesh and that this Act needs to be repealed.
-The Commission should be able to have alternatives to some problems and be able to formulate proposals to submit to the committee.
-The Councillors are still divided into two, one belongs to the democratic dispensation and the others are the old guards of the Bantustans. This division causes conflict, the old guards distribute state land to their favorites.
-To expedite the settlement of the land claims, the need to decentralise commissioners becomes central.
-There should be a co-ordinated link of structures on land issues in order to have an integrated approach.
-The documentary proofs requested by the Court places a burden on the commission.
Visit to Ganalaagte (Bakolobeng ba-ga-Ramodiyana)
The Bakolobeng tribe was removed from their original land in 1976. Their claim covers the area of the Lichtenburg District to Ventersdorp. The Ganalaagte area has been developed and people have settled on this land. There is a division between the community, in that there are those who want to go to Ventersdorp and those who want to remain in Ganalaagte. There is a strong feeling from the community that they want to get their land back. They argue that that land is fertile, is next to amenities and has developed infrastructure.
People were compensated when removed from their land but that compensation does not equal the hardship these communities endured during the removals.
Bakolobeng have title deeds for their land. Hence the Department is acknowledging that Bakolobeng have lost their land as a result of racially discriminatory laws and practices. There are no problems with the claim of the Bakolobeng. However, the matter is still being held back by the negotiation of the offer.
There is a problem of infighting between the Chiefs in regards to the claims. The Committee requested the Chiefs and the community to solve that matter. If it is not solved, no one will be a winner and the land will not be returned to them. The Committee recommended that the House of Traditional Leaders be approached to assist in this matter.
Visit to Madikwe (Bakwena ba Mahlako)
The claim was made in 1996. Legal Resources Centre initially assisted with the claim. The claim is made on two farms - Diamante and Optel; and it is a communal claim. This land was held by the Minister of Land Affairs for the community. The community do not have title deeds for this land but the Minister acknowledges the holding of the land. The Minister has requested the community to move to the other area so that there could be some developments. This was in actual fact an exchange agreement.
The Chief had agreed with the government to exchange the land and, despite the objections of the community, the Chief proceeded with this agreement. When the land was exchanged, there was no tribal resolution to make this exchange legal. People who signed for this were less than 20 and were under age. The Act by then required that the tribal resolution should have been signed by the majority of male residents and the administrator should attest to that.
The community has challenged this in court and the process is going to take long to get settled. White farmers are not against the claim, however, they have their own demands. These farmers have various demands that are causing delays to the settlement of this issue. The land needs to be valuated and the price determined. The community plans to do commercial farming. The community wants to have mineral rights and the Legal Resource Centre is researching that possibility. The Commission feels that the only obstacle to this claim might be the price. The Commission is currently educating the community on CPA and how to administer land.
Visit to Madikwe (Barolong ba-go-Rekologadi and Bakwena)
Barolong ba-ga-Rekologadi and the Bakwena tribes have representatives from five villages. People had title deeds dated 1871, however, the community feels that they had resided there long before in 1871. The community were forcefully removed from Mokumbjane and Phalane together with their livestock.
It is not possible for the community to claim back the land since it is a game reserve. Amongst other land that is being claimed, is state land which is on lease. There are farms that are adjacent to the land claimed and they are occupied by informal settlers. There are white farmers who have reserved the land for grazing. Some people have leased the state land and, at the end of the lease, the occupants do not want to vacate.
The land which Barokologadi is claiming is about 20 000 hectares, - the Bakwena are claiming 10 000 hectares and the Baphalane ba Sesobeng are also claiming 10 000 hectares.
Negotiations have not yet started due to the following reasons:
-There is a farmer called Mr Jonk, who is an Zimbabwean by origin and he was given the land by the former Bophuthatswana Government. The land allocated to Mr Jonk is about 45 000 hectares. The intention was to use this land for commercial farming. This land is prime property and can be beneficial to the whole community. In response to this claim, Mr Jonk has decided to take the Department of Land Affairs to court for selling this land to him. This delays the progress of claiming. Mr Jonk's contract ended in 1994.
-Mr Dipale had an expectation to buy the farm. The department did not meet this expectation and he intends to get a court intervention. This issue is also problematic and causes delays.
The government's intention is to give the community monetary compensation. There is a memorandum of understanding between the Government of North-West and the Land Claims Commission and it has been endorsed by the MEC. This land should benefit the community or the claimants, and this is a part of the memorandum of understanding. There will be projects developed in the area and the community will manage and maintain them. The community will participate in ecotourism in the game reserve.
No related documents
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
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